The live auction at the Firemen’s Ball. Photo: C. Leinbach

The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department doesn’t only need people who can run into burning buildings, it needs volunteers to drive the trucks, handle hoses, do administrative work and more.

And the return of the Firemen’s Ball, will help the OVFD raise funds needed to obtain and maintain the equipment and train volunteers needed on an island like Ocracoke.

In addition to grants, this party, scheduled for Saturday evening May 28 in the Berkley Barn, adds tens of thousands of dollars to the fire department’s coffers for its work.

The schedule is as follows:

4-6:30: Silent Auction
5-6:30: Pig Pickin’ (or until the food runs out, which it always does). Plates and drinks are $15.
Inside, donations are accepted for cold beer generously donated by 1718 Brewing Ocracoke.
7: Live Auction
8:30: Live music by The Dune Dogs and The Ocracoke Rockers

The OFVD building became the command center for relief efforts right after Hurricane Dorian hit on Sept. 6, 2019, and it remained so into November.

The company heard from many how grateful they were to have that building, where dozens of emergency responders descended to help the people of Ocracoke who lost so much in this unprecedented disaster.

Being an island, Ocracoke needs the best equipment and all personnel ready to go as help from any other fire department is at least two hours away, which puts the island in a very vulnerable position.

During a recent meeting of the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board to review grant requests, Assistant Fire Chief Ernie Doshier noted that the ladder truck, from which a volunteer can pump water onto a roof, was instrumental in containing the fire November 2017 at the Pirates Chest.

It also is important to have this kind of truck because of all the houses being raised on Ocracoke.

“That ladder truck is certified to get people out of high places,” Doshier said.

So having equipment like that is crucial on an island like Ocracoke.

Currently, the company is fundraising for a new pumper truck since the one they have is more than 20 years old, he said.

Unlike other counties, Hyde County has no fire tax and so the company relies heavily on individual and business donations for operating costs.

Anyone wishing to help can consider a donation or sponsorship or donating goods or services for the live and silent auctions. (See graphic below.)

Event organizers make sure that individuals and businesses are recognized for all donated products and services and May 10 is the deadline for getting your name in the print advertising options.

For details about donating visit http://www.ocracokefiremensball.com.

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